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Sew A Toddler’s Baby-Doll-In-A-Blanket

Updated on May 18, 2016
RTalloni profile image

Robertatalloni means creativity. Whether in writing or in more typical art forms artistry (and a bit of fun) must be part of the work.

Yay, the baby in a blanket fits in the doll cradle just right, but her face still needs tweaking.  I can't send an alien in the cradle!
Yay, the baby in a blanket fits in the doll cradle just right, but her face still needs tweaking. I can't send an alien in the cradle! | Source

Make An Amazing Baby Doll


If you saw my doll cradle hub then you are expecting this hub on making a baby doll for our second granddaughter's second birthday.


What you couldn’t know, though, is that this baby doll in a blanket is a fast and easy sewing project.


Deciding To Sew A Birthday Doll Was An Accident


When we first planned the toy cradle project I hadn’t thought of making a doll to go in it. My mind was on the dolls she already has, but really, how could we send an empty cradle as a gift?

Looking online for available patterns turned up a new-to-me idea that seemed perfect for a toddler. I decided to alter the examples of an all-in-one blanket baby to fit a 2 year old’s little hands.

As you look over the following step-by-step and photos, keep in mind that you could make one of these larger or smaller. I designed this one to be something that a 2 year old could easily manage during play time.

After putting this project together I have to score it with a 9.999. My only regret is that I did not allow more time to practice making the doll’s head and face.

That's okay, though, because it wasn’t designed to be an heirloom. It is just something she can drag around, use as a pillow, and just generally toss about.

Then there's always next time. Little girls can never have too many baby dolls--just ask them. :) As a Christmas gift, or no special reason at all--I can make her another anytime!

If you make an heirloom baby doll in a blanket consider doing a hub so we can all see it and glean ideas for our own from it. Below, you'll find the method I used to make this one.


Project Description And Supplies


This doll is formed in a triangular shaped blanket. The body of the doll is inside the blanket and the head is attached to the outside. The step-by-step directions following this supply list show how easily the project goes together.

Before beginning a similar project it would be good for you to read through all of the directions and have the basics of what you will need on hand. Here is the supply list with some tips:

Simple supplies for this blanket-doll.
Simple supplies for this blanket-doll. | Source

• A small bag of fiber fill--this project requires very little filling.

• Up to 1 yard of printed fabric for the blanket--you will initially cut 1 large square from the amount of fabric you use.

• Approximately 3 yards of ruffled trim--the length will be taken from the final cut of the blanket’s shape.

• A square of flesh colored fabric, approximately 10”--this will be cut down to a circle. I used a knit fabric to create my baby face and have some tips to share as a result:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I should have used interfacing on the back to stabilize the knit fabric for machine embroidering.  The fabric stretched and kept the mouth from curving.FabricMate dye pins do a great job, but they can't tell me how to make the best face.  :)One big scary face with no chin space--take me to your leader!
I should have used interfacing on the back to stabilize the knit fabric for machine embroidering.  The fabric stretched and kept the mouth from curving.
I should have used interfacing on the back to stabilize the knit fabric for machine embroidering. The fabric stretched and kept the mouth from curving. | Source
FabricMate dye pins do a great job, but they can't tell me how to make the best face.  :)
FabricMate dye pins do a great job, but they can't tell me how to make the best face. :) | Source
One big scary face with no chin space--take me to your leader!
One big scary face with no chin space--take me to your leader! | Source

First, I tried embroidering a face. That did not turn out so well on knit fabric. I’ll need to do more research and experimenting before I try that again. It would have worked well on woven fabric like muslin.

In my second attempt to make the face I used fabric dye markers, but that revealed another problem with the knit fabric. It surprised me and stretched into a big scary face. I tried hand sewing shaping into the facial features but they were just too big, too much of an alien look.

The third attempt was more successful because I designed the features with stretch in mind and I did more shaping of the face with needle and thread. I wound up with a sendable doll in a blanket from this try.

There are some great doll making tutorials out there, but I thought I had this wrapped up. After all, I only wanted to make a simple baby doll head! By the time I was on my third attempt I would have saved time to study the tutorials.

I’ll be using muslin the next time I try this, but I’ll be doing a little more research on the topic of creating baby doll's faces and forming the heads before I start.

• Transfer paper, embroidery thread, and/or fabric dye markers--there are several options for creating the doll’s face.

The approximate measures are not what you would normally see in a sewing project, but this is a work of art in progress and you can follow the guidelines to make any size doll-in-a-blanket that you desire.


How To Make A Baby-Doll-In-A-Blanket (with Photos and More Tips)

Refer to photos for extra tips on these directions:

1. Cut a square from your fabric. 1 yard of fabric will generally yield a 34” square. My project fo a toddler began with a square that was approximately 25” x 25”.

2. Fold the square into a triangle and cut the fold. You will have two triangles. Set one triangle aside.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fold ends of trim.Line trim up on triangle for pinning.Pin trim to triangle for sewing.In the corners take care to pin trim out of the way of seam lines.Finish the end of trim by folding it as at the beginning to hide raw edges.If experienced with machine sewing, you may want to pin the trim on, then pin the second triangle on, and sew the three layers together all at once.Machine stitch the trim.Pin the second triangle over the trim.Leave an open for turning the blanket and stuffing the body of the baby doll.Opening neatly pressed.Pear/oval shaped-patternPattern pinned above opening.Sewn on outside edge of pattern.Second view of body sewn on outside of edge of pattern.View of pattern sewn above the opening.Remove pattern, stuff body of baby doll.Pin opening closed and machine stitch.Remove pins and envision the head attached to the soft body.  :)
Fold ends of trim.
Fold ends of trim. | Source
Line trim up on triangle for pinning.
Line trim up on triangle for pinning. | Source
Pin trim to triangle for sewing.
Pin trim to triangle for sewing. | Source
In the corners take care to pin trim out of the way of seam lines.
In the corners take care to pin trim out of the way of seam lines. | Source
Finish the end of trim by folding it as at the beginning to hide raw edges.
Finish the end of trim by folding it as at the beginning to hide raw edges. | Source
If experienced with machine sewing, you may want to pin the trim on, then pin the second triangle on, and sew the three layers together all at once.
If experienced with machine sewing, you may want to pin the trim on, then pin the second triangle on, and sew the three layers together all at once. | Source
Machine stitch the trim.
Machine stitch the trim. | Source
Pin the second triangle over the trim.
Pin the second triangle over the trim. | Source
Leave an open for turning the blanket and stuffing the body of the baby doll.
Leave an open for turning the blanket and stuffing the body of the baby doll. | Source
Opening neatly pressed.
Opening neatly pressed. | Source
Pear/oval shaped-pattern
Pear/oval shaped-pattern | Source
Pattern pinned above opening.
Pattern pinned above opening. | Source
Sewn on outside edge of pattern.
Sewn on outside edge of pattern. | Source
Second view of body sewn on outside of edge of pattern.
Second view of body sewn on outside of edge of pattern. | Source
View of pattern sewn above the opening.
View of pattern sewn above the opening. | Source
Remove pattern, stuff body of baby doll.
Remove pattern, stuff body of baby doll. | Source
Pin opening closed and machine stitch.
Pin opening closed and machine stitch. | Source
Remove pins and envision the head attached to the soft body.  :)
Remove pins and envision the head attached to the soft body. :) | Source

3. Fold and pin one end of the trim to hide raw edge.

4. Pin trim to one triangle on the right side of the fabric. (Corners can be tricky and you might want to round yours off so you do not have to turn stitches on an angle. If you want to round the corners off, do it before separating the triangles--see step #2.) Fold the end of the trim as in step #3.

5. Sew trim and triangle together with a machine basting stitch.

6. On the long side of the triangle mark an opening 6” wide by finding the center and measuring 3” out to put your mark on the wrong side of the fabric.

7. Pin the second triangle to the first one, right sides together.

8. Seam the triangles together beginning on one side of the the opening, stopping at the other side of the opening.

9. Turn blanket right sides out and press seams, folding the opening’s edges inward to match the seam.

10. Using a simple pear shape (or flat bottomed oval) cut from an 8.5’ x 11” sheet of paper as a pattern, line up the wide end of the pear shape on the opening.

11. Machine stitch around the outside edge of the pattern.

12. Stuff fiber fill into the opening.

13. Pin the opening shut and stitch it closed.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gather the head piece to prepare it for stuffing.Stuff and sew the head closed before attaching it to the shoulders of the pear shaped body.  I attached mine firmly to the blanket because the head is floppy, just like a real newborn's.  Begin forming facial features by hand sewing with heavy thread on a large needle.  Attach bonnet and/or hair at this point.The triangular blanket is perfect for teaching little ones how to swaddle a baby.Tucked into her handmade cradle.
Gather the head piece to prepare it for stuffing.
Gather the head piece to prepare it for stuffing. | Source
Stuff and sew the head closed before attaching it to the shoulders of the pear shaped body.  I attached mine firmly to the blanket because the head is floppy, just like a real newborn's.
Stuff and sew the head closed before attaching it to the shoulders of the pear shaped body. I attached mine firmly to the blanket because the head is floppy, just like a real newborn's. | Source
Begin forming facial features by hand sewing with heavy thread on a large needle.  Attach bonnet and/or hair at this point.
Begin forming facial features by hand sewing with heavy thread on a large needle. Attach bonnet and/or hair at this point. | Source
The triangular blanket is perfect for teaching little ones how to swaddle a baby.
The triangular blanket is perfect for teaching little ones how to swaddle a baby. | Source
Tucked into her handmade cradle.
Tucked into her handmade cradle. | Source

Have you ever sewn a doll or stuffed toy?

See results

14. Round off the corners of the flesh colored fabric and create a doll’s baby face in the center of the flesh colored fabric.

15. Hand sew a loose running stitch around the doll’s face then gather it up with the face side out. Pull it reasonably tight and stuff with fiber fill. Sew the opening closed over the fiber fill. You will have a round dolls head.

16. Give some shape the head by pushing the fiber fill around to form a bit of a chin and cheek bones.

17. Hand sew indentions into the corners of the facial features. I only put a hint of a nose on my doll.

18. If you wish, sew some of the trim onto the head to form a bonnet, or eve add yarn hair to the head.

19. Sew the dolls head to the top of the pear shaped doll body and to the the blanket. The head will be floppy--a great tool for showing a little one how to hold a newborn.

20. Swaddle the baby doll in its own little blanket. Pat its tiny tummy and say, “There you go!” :)

If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments section below.


Sewing
Sewing | Source

Hand Sewn Fabric Doll

What do you think of this doll making project?

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    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks kindly for letting me know you enjoyed seeing this hub.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      This is so cute, i must try to sew one when i amfree, for my teddy bear

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      ologsinquito:

      Thanks much. It was a fun project to experiment with and I would like to expand on the idea sometime.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      This is really cute. I never cease to be amazed at what crafty people can create.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      plinka:

      My hub ideas from projects are piling up on me, actually. Thank you for your feedback on them!

    • plinka profile image

      plinka 5 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

      You've written quite a lot of hubs on handy crafts "recently". They are awesome. Very creative and nicely sorted!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Millionaire Tips:

      Thanks very much. :) You can find unfinished cradles for sale on line, but you are right, I've not seen them second-hand either. I'm going to your profile page to see if you've posted your little quilts.

      Thanks much for stopping by with your comment!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      Awww, that is so cute! I am sure your granddaughter loved it. Maybe she will help you make another one. I've been looking for cradles to go with my little quilts, but so far have not been very successful at yard sales, etc. Voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      TeachableMoments:

      You certainly could sew a teddy inside the blanket instead of a doll, or any other character for that matter. There are products that would even allow you to copy a photo of your daughter and transfer that to the doll's head!

      Thanks kindly for letting me know you like this sewing project for toddlers!

    • TeachableMoments profile image

      TeachableMoments 5 years ago from California

      Thanks for this cute idea. My daughter loves animals. I wonder if I could sew a teddy bear head inside the blanket rather than a doll. Probably. I think I'll give this one a try. Great hub. Voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Phoebe Pike:

      Thanks much for your input on this sewing project!

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

      What a great idea!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Jamie Brock:

      Thanks for letting me know that you found this hub to be helpful. Writing directions sometimes take more thinking than I can thunk! ;)

      I'm so glad you are enjoying fiddling with your sewing machine. That's exactly what's going to turn you into an experienced seamstress in no time. Looking forward to eventually seeing your sewing projects on HubPages because I know they will be very creative!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas

      RTalloni- Thank you for sharing this project, your instructions are very clear and the photos are great too. I may have to give this a try sometime... I'm getting more confident with my sewing machine, have been fiddling with it all week. The baby is precious and love the cradle, too! Voting up and useful :)

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      moonlake:

      Thanks very much for your sharing your response to this hub! I thought the concept was delightful when I first saw it, and I enjoyed creating my own design for the cradle we made.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      This is really cute. Doesn't look to hard. Any little girl would love it. Vote uP.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Giselle Maine:

      Thanks kindly for your input on this sewing project! A blue doll blanket would be really cute. I think a ruffled trim would be easier to work with than a flat ribbon unless you rounded the sharp corners off quite a bit, and even then a ric-rac trim might be your best choice. You could easily sew loops of yarn on for a curly haired boy instead of a ruffled bonnet. Sure hope we get to see your doll when you get it done. :)

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      BlossomSB:

      Thanks for your input on this little doll. Since making it other ideas for them are running around the back of my head! Time to develop the ideas is another story. :)

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      kashmir56:

      Thank you for letting me know you stopped in! I appreciate your feedback very much.

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 5 years ago

      Superb idea! I may have to try this (if I get time). I have a view to making it a boy doll for a toddler boy by using a plain blue color for the blanket and maybe a dark blue or a brown grosgrain ribbon instead of ruffled trim. Do you think that would work? I have found that most storebought dolls are geared so much toward girls with lots of pink etc etc.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      A very useful 'accident.' It is a great idea and good instructions.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great project for anyone interested in doing this type of craft. Very well explained and great photos and video !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Pamela99:

      Thanks very much for your input on this doll designed for toddlers. Sewing can meet a need as well as be a creative outlet, and being creative with it is a lot of fun.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      This is another of your unique projects. You are certainly creative in your sewing. I never made a doll as I had 3 boys, but I did do a lot of sewing when they were young. The videos really show all of the different types of things you can create. Awesome hub.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      teaches12345:

      Thanks bunches for your comments on this doll project. I like the idea that it could be a pillow if they got tired during play time. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I have sewn a stuffed toy only once and I did enjoy it much. I love this little doll idea and I am sure it would make great gifts to toddlers. It would be so soft to cuddle and safe for them too.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      vocalcoach:

      Thanks kindly! I appreciate that you stopped by and let me hear from you on this sewing project.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I enjoyed learning about this project. You have so much talent. The video's are useful. Voting up on this one!